The system at the new store in Hythe, Kent, will use power from waste oil and fat which will feed into a biofuel generator.

The system monitors the National Grid and activates the generator when there is an increased demand for electricity at peak usage times.

The company says the generator is the first of its kind and was created in partnership with Imperial College London’s Faculty of Engineering and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change.

Additional technology in the store will reduce strain on the grid further by deactivating or reducing the store’s heating, ventilation and lighting systems at peak times.

Sainsbury’s property director, Neil Sachdev, said: “We are absolutely committed to introducing experimental carbon-reducing innovations such as this.

“As a large retailer, we are able to make a tremendous difference by investing in new technology and rolling it out onto our estate.

“We are extremely agile as a business so can implement changes quickly by ourselves, rather than waiting for climate change legislation to bring about change.”

The introduction of the Smart Grid system is part of Sainsbury’s environmental stores programme.

Technology trialled in environmental stores is often rolled out to future store developments as standard.

Alison Brown

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